Category: Trees

PRI Zaytuna Farm Internship Project – Slope Stabilisation

My chosen internship project at PRI Zaytuna Farm was to stabilize and prevent erosion on a steep slope from an excavation back cut. I also wanted to build topsoil and increase fertility as most of the slope is subsoil clay. This is a picture of the slope before doing anything to it I decided to try the Net and Pan method described in the Permaculture Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison. […]

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Tough Fruit

A line of thought evolving from the interest in both epigenetics and the Paleo diet has led to an exploration of low cultivated, western European, Asian and North American fruit trees in our Food Forest systems. What does this mean? Well, we all love fruit. A fresh, crispy apple or sweet, fleshy nectarine are hard to beat, but how often do we need to eat such super sweet treats bred […]

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Fruits and Nuts: Our Cold-Climate Favorites (Massachusetts, USA)

An excerpt from Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates Grapes August is the beginning of our fruit and nut harvest. Since we have little room for fruit and nut trees, we had to prioritize the species we most love to eat, with the prime fruit growing space […]

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Small Scale Nursery Applications: Reflections from Loping Coyote Farms Nursery (NV, USA)

by Neil Bertrando , Eric Toensmeier Plant materials are a critical component of any homestead or agroecology site, and by using the permaculture design concept, we can figure out many yields to pattern into our management activities. I want to explore some opportunities presented by integrating a small scale nursery into the process of site development, based on my experiences in a high desert climate context on sites of <2 […]

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Of Apples and Earth Apples (Ireland)

by Ute Bohnsack August is a happy month, a time of abundance at the tail end of summer, the month that gives us the first apples and new potatoes. In Ireland ‘spuds’, somewhat more eloquently termed ‘pomme de terre’ by the French, are a staple food of course, but similarly apples to me are a staple I don’t like to be without. In my native German language they are generally […]

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Winter at Tata Kaitawa, 2013 (New Zealand)

by Yvonne Collin Misty winter morning in the valley What winter? Have we had one and it has slipped by without making a noise? We have had a few cold and wet days here in the bush and the occasional frost after a clear night, but not like the winters we are used to having. We live in a deep valley, one of two valleys that meet at the bottom, […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia for July 2013

This is the mid-Winter post for the ongoing research project about perennial plants and self-perpetuating annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month-by-month basis, then this information is collated and published the following month. All previous posts from this series can be found by clicking […]

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Return of the Native (UK)

Why are almost all the trees that councils plant exotic species? by George Monbiot The differences can be stark and remarkable: native trees tend to harbour far more wildlife than exotic species. Indigenous oak species, for example – according to the table extracted from scientific papers by the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust – harbour 284 insect species in the UK. Birch supports 266. But horse chestnut, introduced from the […]

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It’s a Forest, You Just Can’t See It

An aerial view of a goat farm in the desert outside Dubai, a landscape that would benefit from Tony Rinaudo’s farmer-managed natural regeneration technique. Courtesy Mayang. Tony Rinaudo has an astonishing theory about the vast and apparently lifeless desert wastes of the UAE. He hasn’t been here, mind, and his observations are based on examining photographs of the region. But Mr Rinaudo’s theories merit serious consideration, because when it comes […]

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Fernglade Farm – Winter 2013 Update (Australia)

//www.youtube.com/embed/2LkVPAhxoCE The rains turned up here in Victoria, Australia, in April and then kept on pouring. So far this year has seen almost no rain over summer and then about 600mm (2 foot) since about the middle of Autumn. In addition to that, winter maximum temperatures have set new records (which date back to the 1860s). The climate here is turning strongly Mediterranean. As you’d expect, everything is growing strongly […]

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Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 2)

Continuing from: Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 1) Community trainings in the third world present a bit of a different set of challenges from your average western group. The community members often have quite a wealth of indigenous knowledge on the methods and the species of the area – they know exactly which trees are used for what (goat forage, fencing, medicine, fibre, etc.), how […]

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Regenerating Rusinga Island (Lake Victoria, Kenya)

In January, 2013, I wrote an article titled, "Helping Small Farmers Help Themselves on Rusinga Island". In December of 2012, I came to Rusinga Island for the first time under the invitation of PRI Kenya to teach a PDC to women and men subsistence farmers. What emerged out of the PDC was a small group of farmers — sixteen members — organizing themselves and setting up their own association called […]

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